SY2011 CDL Coach Survey Results

Last spring 84 CDL coaches completed a survey on the 2010/11 (SY2011) CDL season — more than 75% of our coaches responded.

The “quantitative scale” question averages included these responses (on a 5 point scale, where “5” means “completely agree” and 1 means “completely disagree”):

I found coaching debate professionally rewarding — 4.58
The CDL is professionally managed and administered — 4.23
My students’ academic skills significantly improved this school year as a result of participation in debate — 4.22

The narrative responses from coaches are summarized below. These bullet points represent common or typical responses.

What do you especially like about how the CDL is administered by both the CDC and CPS?
• CDL administration is highly professional and passionate
• Information is very useful and administration is highly responsive
• Solid organization between the CDC and CPS

What would you like to see improved about how the CDL is administered by both the
CDC and CPS?
• Should be better, more consistent communication with principals and local school administrators
• Insufficient funding for transportation and judges
• There should be more schools, especially neighborhood schools, in the CDL

If you’re a coach at a district school, comment on the new Coach Stipend Allocation
System this year. Did you find it an improvement over previous years? Why or why not?
• Definite improvement over previous years; larger, more fairly disbursed stipends
• Coach stipends are unnecessarily difficult to access; some schools had their coach stipend money “drained” by unrelated debts the school had with central office
• External coach stipend payment too difficult

If you’re a coach at a charter or guest school, did you receive a fair coach stipend this
season? Was your debate program adequately funded by your local school administration?
• Yes, I was paid fairly
• No, I was not paid adequately, and the debate team was generally under-funded at my school

What did you especially like about CDL tournaments?
• Well organized, professionally administered, and punctual
• Strong sense of community among students and coaches
• Learning fostered by engaging and exciting environment

What would you like to see improved about CDL tournaments?
• Food should be better
• Judges are sometimes too inexperienced
• They are too long

What did you especially like about CDL special events (e.g., the Performance Trust
Public Debates, the McDermott Will and Emery JV Invitational, the Allstate Varsity
Invitational, the Mayer Brown Nationals Qualifier)?
• Their exclusivity is additional motivation for students
• Interaction with highly successful professionals
• Environment of prestige affirms students’ hard work and dedication to debate

What would you like to see improved about CDL special events?
• More focus on students and on competitive debating, and less focus on the sponsors
• Arrange for more of them

What did you especially like about CDL professional development and the new PD
system this season?
• New PD system is highly thoughtful, well organized, and well tracked
• Engaging, useful PD seminars
• Flexibility of venues a big improvement

How can the CDL improve its professional development in the 2011/12 season?
• Provide CPDUs for all PD
• Increase the use of tournament meetings run by coaches
• Better planning, especially more specific curriculum, including for more experienced coaches

Comment on the system of performance reporting in place in the CDL. Does it help you
build your program? How can it be improved for next season?
• Reporting has been useful in program building
• Didn’t use the reporting system regularly, not interested

Comment on the coach incentive offerings in place in the CDL. Do they have an impact
on the performance and participation level of your debate program? How can the incentive offerings be improved for next season?
• The incentives are motivating as rewards and recognition for professional achievement
• The incentives are irrelevant – coaches are not motivated by relatively small additional payments
• Consider making some of the incentives “team” rather than “coach” incentives

Comment on the communications in the CDL and the functionality and value of the CDL
programming site. How can communications be improved for next season? How can the
programming site be made more valuable and useful for you and your students?
• Communications in the CDL is excellent
• The new programming site has been a great advance, it’s very helpful
• The CDL should continue to condense the number of emails and reference specific groups of coaches to specific places on the programming site to increase efficiency

Overall, how can the CDL help you engage and involve more students in your debate program next season?
• Miscellaneous ideas: restored National Circuit Program, better food, non-policy debate format offerings, college access programs, spring (May and June) programming, more external coaches
• Nothing: the CDL and we are doing all we can
• Transportation costs and limited judges are a significant impediment to increasing team size

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